Musakhan means heated in Arabic and it’s a name that entirely fails to capture the deliciousness of this meal. If you’re vegetarian, you can omit the chicken and instead turn it into a kind of flat bread appetizer. Taboon bread, a large flatbread that’s about 8” in diameter and 1/8” thick is traditionally used but if you can’t find it you can make your own or even use regular pita that you split open and layer.
Makes 6 servings
- Whole chicken
- 1 roaster chicken
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups
- Red onion
- 6 to 8 large
- Pine nuts
- About 1/4 cup
- 4 tablespoons
- Taboon bread
- 2 pieces, about 8” in diameter
- Salt and pepper
- to taste
- 1 teaspoon
- Fresh lemon juice
- Half a large lemon or about 1/8 of a cup of lemon juice
- Wash and clean the chicken. Rub lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil all over it and under the skin and cut into pieces.
- Finely dice two of the onions and sauté them until translucent in a large pot.
- Add the chicken and brown it on all sides.
- Add, cardamom, salt, and enough water to cover it all and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let it simmer until the chicken is done cooking all the way through, about 90 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Thinly slice the remaining onions and add them to another deep pot or casserole with two cups of olive oil.
- Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they turn translucent. This should take about 25-35 minutes. Add the sumac to the pot and cook for another couple of minutes to mix everything up.
- Transfer the chicken from the first pot (reserve all the liquid, though) and add it to the pot with onions and sumac cook together for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken one more time from the pot of onions to a baking dish and roast it in the oven until golden brown.
To Assemble and Serve
- Dip the bread in the chicken broth from the first pot and lay it in another baking dish. Alternatively, or if you’re preparing this as a vegetarian, you can soak the bread in olive oil.
- Add a layer of the cooked onions on top of the layer of bread. Broil in the oven for a few minutes until golden.
- Repeat the same layering process three or four more times.
- Add the chicken on top of the final layer, garnish with the pine nuts, and broil for the final time.